Ouachita Baptist University’s Director of Athletics David Sharp and Head Football Coach Todd Knight announced June 17 the release of the upcoming 2009 OBU football schedule.
The Tigers, who finished 7-3 last season, including 5-3 in Gulf South Conference play, will seek to take the next step toward reaching postseason play. On the offensive end, the Tigers were fourth in scoring in the GSC in 2008 with 34.1 points per game, scoring 40-plus points in each of the final three games. The squad ranked among the top five in the GSC in six statistical categories: red zone offense (1st), field goal percentage (1st), turnover margin (2nd), passing efficiency (3rd), rushing (4th) and time of possession (4th).
“I like our schedule,” Coach Knight said. “We are in the second year of a two-year rotation. The GSC part of our schedule will stay the same, flipping home and away. We will be tested early with a non-conference game in Texas, at Texas College, and then on the road we will face a tough GSC opponent in West Georgia. When we come home it doesn’t get any easier. We will be playing two top 10 teams in Valdosta State and Delta State. I like the idea of having these guys at home.”
The schedule will again feature only two non-conference opponents: Texas College on Sept. 5 and Southwest Baptist on Oct. 24.
The Tigers will open the 2009 season on the road for the first two weeks, traveling to Tyler, Texas, in week one to face Texas College on Sept. 5 and a week later, Ouachita opens GSC play on the road against West Georgia at Carrollton, Ga., on Sept. 12. Texas College is the only opponent that Ouachita didn’t compete against in 2008.
The 10-game schedule includes home games at A.U. Williams Field against Valdosta State (Sept. 19), Delta State (Sept. 26), Harding (Oct. 10 – homecoming game), Southwest Baptist (Oct. 24) and Henderson State (Nov. 7 – Battle of the Ravine).
“Ouachita has become a great place to play,” Knight said. “Our home crowd at Henderson last year for the Battle of the Ravine was as good as I’ve seen. Our students, band and cheerleaders have added so much to the game atmosphere at A.U. Williams Field. Our students have taken ownership in the football team and our players really respond to them.”
Ouachita will travel to play Arkansas-Monticello (Oct. 3) and Southern Arkansas (Oct. 17) for in-state road games, while making the trip to West Alabama in Livingston, Ala., on Oct. 31 to close out the 2009 road game schedule.
On November 7, the 83rd annual Battle of the Ravine series with GSC-rival Henderson State will conclude the 2009 regular season at home.
The Tigers will open the 2009 season with a preseason scrimmage against Louisiana College on Aug. 25, followed by the season-opener on Sept. 5.
By Alan Greenwood, OBU sports information director